Rate increase recommended by Tennessee Valley Authority

By | May 7, 2018 6:45 am

One City of Sparta alderman has questioned a Tennessee Valley Authority recommended rate increase for Sparta Electric customers.

On the May 3, 2018, agenda for the Sparta Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting was a recommended rate increase for Sparta Electric customers that has been suggested by TVA, the electricity provider for the City of Sparta and surrounding area electric service providers.

According to the City of Sparta “retail rate development roadmap” that was presented to the board, the access fee for residential services is set at $18.50, and the proposed new access fee is $19.50 per residential service. Also, the customer monthly service charge was recommended to be increase from $16.90 to $17.90 for residential customers.

Additionally, the current electricity rate set for city residential customers is $0.8963 (summer rate), $0.08948 (winter rate), and $0.08874 (transition rate) per kilowatt-hour. The TVA proposes that Sparta Electric increase its residential rate by $0.0037 to a new rate of $0.0900 (summer rate), $0.08985 (winter rate) and $0.08911 (transition rate) per kilowatt-hour.

According to Chris Dorsey, City of Sparta administrator, these rate adjustments goes toward covering inflation, costs of utility polls, and rising costs of providing electric services. The overall proposed rate adjustment is 0.48 percent for the city, according to Dorsey.

“Why is it that we always have to go with what the TVA says and what our consultants say?” asked Alderman Jerry Lowery. “This is just another increase on the people. It continues to just go up. When does it stop? People will say you can’t fight the TVA. Well let me just say this, the TVA president/CEO, Bill Johnson, who’s not from here, makes $6 million a year. He’s the highest paid federal employee out there. Just this year, they bought two planes with taxpayer dollars that even their own lawyers said violated their policies. So when does it stop?

“We keep hitting our people with a dollar here, a dollar here, and a dollar here when they’re still living their lavish lifestyle. It continues every year, and it never stops.”

Following a discussion from the board and the reality that the Tennessee Valley Authority is the only provider of electricity for Sparta Electric, it appeared to the majority of the board that the city’s options were limited. The board voted to approve the rate increases, with Lowery casting the only no vote.

In other business, the Sparta board voted to approve solicitation of bids for various items, including annual asphalt mixes, rocks/stones for in-house projects, and annual chemical bids for the city and the YMCA.

Other items of business included:

-Approval of authorization of proposals for building an equipment shed for Sparta Electric

-Approval of $8,000 donation to Pacesetters Inc.

-Reports from the various city department leaders

-Approval of special events/temporary beer permit for Sparta Green Market events and Sparta Emporium grand opening event

The Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen will hold its next meeting at 5 p.m., May 17, 2018, at Sparta City Hall.

comments » 2

  1. Comment by Debra R Rowlands

    May 7, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Here are the actual amounts: Bill Johnson, president and CEO, $5.07 million in pay and bonuses, up 3.3 percent from the previous year, and total compensation of $6.7 million

    › Joe Grimes, executive vice president for generation, $2.1 million in pay and bonuses, up 12.7 percent from the previous year, and total compensation of $2.4 million

    › John Thomas, chief financial officer, $2.02 million in pay and bonuses, down 10 percent from the previous year, and total compensation of $2.3 million

    › Mike Skaggs, executive vice president of operations, $1.5 million in pay and bonuses, 12.6 percent from the previous year, and total compensation of $1.9 million.

    › Sherry Quirk, general counsel, $1.47 million in pay and bonuses, and total compensation of $1.6 million.*

    In 2016, Johnson received a $161,000 raise. Really? Most people I know struggle to pay their electric bills.

    A fine example of the excesses the people suffer at the hands of the elite. How is it that these people are worth this much money? Just like the gas company that charges as much as they do for gas, while they have a constant flame going out in front of the office. I myself turn off the pilot lights on the heat to cut my bill as soon as I can, while this is just being wasted.

  2. Comment by JD

    May 7, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Unfortunately, local governments have no control over TVA. Only Congress has that control. The local government could have denied the increase but would still be responsible for the TVA cost; and the difference would have come out of the electric company’s reserves. Per TCA, utilities must operate from revenues, I.e., no tax dollars. They are a separate enterprise.


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